The Mission of Costa Rica in Geneva and Costa Rican football players join their voice against cluster munitions

CCM Evian

The Ambassador of Costa Rica to the UN agencies in Geneva, Elayne Whyte, along with the football players of the team Evian Thonon Gaillard FC, Yeltsin Tejeda and David Ramirez, join their voices to contribute to education and outreach on the consequences of cluster munitions. These have killed more than 100,000 people in 23 countries, 98 percent of the deaths have been civilians.

Ambassador Whyte attended last Saturday to the match between Evian Thonon Gaillard FC and AS Monaco. She took this opportunity to speak to the Costa Rican players whose play in the first team and to propose them to contribute to the efforts of Costa Rica and the international community to eliminate cluster munitions.

The match was played in the city of Annecy, France, located 50 kilometers from Geneva. Ambassador went to this city upon the invitation received from the President of the Club, Joel Lopez.

“By accepting this invitation, I stated that Costa Rica currently chairs the Convention on Cluster Munitions. For this reason, we use all possible spaces to promote the aims of the Convention and raise its awareness. Therefore, we welcome contact with players outside the diplomatic and political level, because they can reach larger audiences, such as is the case of these renowned football players”, Ambassador Whyte said.

“The popularity of the Costa Rican footballers among young people is remarkable, and with their voices, we can spread both the message of peace and the serious humanitarian impact of cluster munitions”, the Costa Rican diplomat added.

Indeed, last week in Geneva, Foreign Minister Manuel González Sanz participated in several meetings on the Convention on Cluster Munitions, aimed at universalizing this instrument and identifying those necessary measures that can help to redouble efforts in order to achieve 100 States Parties the Convention, before the Review Conference to be held in Dubrovnik. Today the Convention has 89 States Parties.

Costa Rica, in the person of the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Manuel González Sanz, received the Presidency of the Convention in San José on 2 September 2014. Costa Rica will hold it until the 7th of September, when the Presidency moves to Croatia.

Cluster Munitions. They are weapons consisting of a container that opens in the air and disperses in large amounts of explosive submunitions or “bomblets” over a wide area (surface of one or two football fields). Depending on the model, each of the containers can have from dozens to more 650 submunitions (of which up to 40 percent does not explode on impact and remain a dormant threat) They can be dropped by aircraft, artillery and missiles. They were used for the first time in the World War II.